I know I’ve written about this before, but few things annoy and frustrate me more than bad drivers.
No matter where I go, what I’m trying to do or how rushed I am, some sorry driver always gets in the way. Not only that, but they often pull out in front of me when they could have waited for ten seconds and easily pulled in behind me. And Heaven forbid there’s rain or ice on the roads, because that only exacerbates bad driving.
Of course, nothing reinforces it more than the bane of my driving existence: the cell phone.
When I was a kid, I remember people poking fun when someone couldn’t multi-task: “I guess you can’t walk and chew gum at the same time, huh?” At the time, it just seemed like good-natured ribbing. But in the context of bad driving, specifically the kind resulting from cell phone use, this makes so much sense.
I have no idea what makes it so challenging, but it seems as if the general populace struggles with driving and using a cell phone at the same time. Simple calls cause many of them to slow down to a crawl, drift off the road and onto the shoulder, or slam on brakes unexpectedly and, in most cases, for no good reason.
I doubt any of these calls are life-threatening. And if you ask me, the majority of them could probably wait until people reached their destinations, parked their cars and got the hell out of the way so people like me could drive stress-free. Unfortunately, that rarely (if ever) happens.
Probably the worst thing about cell phone use in automobiles involves the one thing that diverts people’s attention more than anything else: text messaging. If people have trouble making basic phone calls while driving, then punching out a long text message to a friend could be close to impossible.
Judging from the way these people drive while they’re doing it, I know this assessment is correct. And I guess these folks don’t realize that with most new phones, voice commands can be used to send text messages, too.
I don’t give them much credit for being alert or aware enough to pick up on this, though.
Text messaging while driving is a huge problem in America and causes all sorts of accidents each year. Unfortunately, though, very little legislation has been passed to address this growing problem. Sure, we have laws in place that could result in tickets for drivers seen using their cell phones, but I have my doubts whether this is strongly enforced or not.
I mean, I’ve never received a ticket for it. Even when I pass cops while chatting on the phone, they never seem to notice and may not even care. After all, I still manage to drive like a normal person while I’m doing it, unlike most of the drivers they likely see.
The good news is that our neighbors to the north are taking action to stop text messaging while driving. I am of course referring to Canada and, more specifically, to traffic and safety officials in Alberta.
Since I’m talking about Canada, I want to give a quick shout-out to my buddy Kara in British Columbia. What up, sister?
Sorry, but I couldn’t resist.
And no, they are not referring to venereal diseases or unwanted pregnancies; they’re talking about text messaging, most of which takes place in drivers’ laps.
The campaign is designed to remind Canadian motorists that for the five or so seconds they stare at their phones (or their crotches) to text message, their attention strays from the road. And the end result could be fatal, as we all know.
Whether this ad campaign will work to reduce text-related fatalities remains to be seen, but this definitely seems like a step in the right direction. And the fact that the ATD is using such an edgy and catchy slogan only means more people are likely to pay attention to it. If only transportation officials in the US would take notice.
I don’t know about you, but I miss the days when the only people who focused on their crotches while driving were public masturbators or exhibitionists!
Posted on February 28, 2013, in Perspectives and tagged Advertising campaign, Alberta, cell phones, commentary, current-events, driving, news, perspectives, Text messaging. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.